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I'll be hiking through Baxter State Park, in Maine, in June. I am traveling as light as possible as I will be crossing multiple ridges. I have a 30F sleeping bag and a 0F bag. The 30F bag is much smaller. Can I get away with it?

  • What clothes will you be carrying? – ab2 May 13 '17 at 21:29
  • Synthetic, hydrophobic shirt and pants; Synthetic sweater; pack-able rain jacket; wool socks; mid-height hiking boots. – mreff555 May 13 '17 at 21:34
  • You should put the info about your clothes in your question. I asked because, if you have warm clothing with you, you can sleep fully clothed if necessary, but these clothes don't sound very warm to me. – ab2 May 13 '17 at 21:39
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    Hi! While researching an answer for you, I found notices of closed trails at the park. I'm not sure exactly how many weeks it will be until you go, but you might want to check the site, which is the link I put into your question. I hope this doesn't affect your trip! – Sue May 13 '17 at 23:04
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    @mreff555 Thanks for updating with your experience. Did you also use extra cloth layers? If your down bag gets wet it loses much of its insulation properties; regardless of its rating. You could consider bringing a bulkier synthetic bag to mitigate that. Also, I usually use a water proof bag for the sleeping bag plus a whole-pack waterproof bag liner (i.e. compactor trash bag) or a bag cover in hunting season. – ppl Jun 27 '17 at 17:54
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According to Baxter State Park Monthly Weather Forecast, the record lows for May, June and July are 18 °F (-8°C), 28 °F (-2°C) and 32 F (0°C), respectively. The average lows for May, June and July are 39 F (4°C), 48 F (9°C) and 54 F (12°C), respectively.

Climate Baxter State Park says much the same thing.

As you know, the altitude varies significantly. The approximate elevation is 1,447 feet (441 m), and the highest point (Mt. Katahdin) is 5,267 feet (1605 m). Figure 3 to 5 degrees (F) temperature drop per 1,000 feet of elevation (6–7°C per 1000 metre) gain, but terrain and wind are always factors.

If you are camping at the lower elevations of the Park, in a spot sheltered from wind, your 30 °F (-1 °C) bag should be fine, but maybe not at the top of Katahdin.

  • The summit of the mountain at night won't be colder than the valleys, but it will be cooler during the day, and likely much windier (which should not matter in a good tent). – gerrit May 14 '17 at 10:45
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Katahdin is the highest summit in the area and camping is not permitted. Surrounding mountains are not very high and you should be able to camp at the bottom of them with some minimal planning if you're concerned about the temperature.

A 30F bag is most likely what you will end up using and I would bring that with a few extra light layers that I can use during the day and at night if needed. e.g. a light puffy & windbreaker pants.

If you use lean-to's, these can something feel colder because they are fully open on one side. I have used a 40F quilt in Baxter State Park, in early July, without any trouble.

  • Thanks. I'll be staying in the lean-to's. I'll bring an emergency blanket just in case but I'm thinking I should be ok with the 30F – mreff555 May 14 '17 at 14:23

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